FP2: Sainz leads Ferrari one-two in France, but Verstappen dominates in race trim

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F1 Grand Prix, GP France, Circuit Paul Ricardfr

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz led his team mate Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari 1-2 in the second practice for the French Grand Prix, but championship runaway leader Max Verstappen delivered an impressive race run on high fuel at the end of the session.

Carlos Sainz endured a lengthy delay to the FP2 as Ferrari mounted its new, innovative floor to his car in between the two Friday practices after the Spaniard completed the opening practice with the old configuration. The Madrid-born then had a different approach to his second practice as he started the session on the soft tyre, completing three hot laps before switching to the yellow-banded medium rubber for his race run.

The Spaniard who is carrying a minimum 10-place grid penalty into Sunday’s race for exceeding power unit components, set a time of 1m32.527s to outpace his team mate Leclerc by 0.101s.

Max Verstappen, who also started his second practice with a 15-minute delay was half a second adrift in third place for Red Bull. The Dutchman complained about understeer after his first hot lap. Although Red Bull made some changes after his first flying lap before the reigning champion went for a second push lap, he could not improve his own benchmark.

When it came to the race pace tough, Verstappen was over half a second faster than the Ferrari and the Mercedes drivers, indicating that Red Bull sacrificed the Dutchman’s setup in order to maximize the race pace which will be crucial in the heat at long Paul Ricard track that includes a series of long medium-speed corners.

Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez ended the session down in P10 after struggling for the right balance on his hot lap, but the Mexican’s race pace was definitely better. Mercedes occupied the fourth and fifth place in the second practice with George Russell having clocked a time of 1m33.291s that was over seven tenths of a second slower than what Sainz managed.

His team mate Lewis Hamilton returned to action in FP2 after handing his W13 over to reigning Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries in the opening 60-minute session. The Briton was over two tenths of a second slower than his young team mate.

Lando Norris led the midfield pack with Pierre Gasly following the Bristol-born driver. Haas driver Kevin Magnussen made good use of his team’s upgrades, setting the eighth fastest lap time. The American team originally planned to introduce an upgrade package at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but it brought a new front wing to France which features a new endplate design.

Alpine has failed to impress on home soil so far despite introducing modifications to its floor design. Fernando Alonso ended the session in P11 while his French team mate Esteban Ocon finished down in P18 over two seconds adrift of Sainz.

Aston Martin has set the target of better understanding the upgrades it introduced back at the British Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel, who got behind the wheel of a 1922 Bamford & Martin TT1 for demonstration runs, set the 13th fastest time while his team mate Lance Stroll finished two places further behind.

Alexander Albon failed to replicate his impressive speed from FP1, clocking the 16th fastest time with his team mate Nicholas Latifi rounding out the leaderboard in P20.


155Carlos SainzFerrari1:32.52722
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:32.628+0.101s22
31Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:33.077+0.550s17
463George RussellMercedes1:33.291+0.764s20
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:33.517+0.990s23
64Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:33.607+1.080s21
710Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:33.906+1.379s24
820Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:33.928+1.401s24
93Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:33.984+1.457s23
1011Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:34.060+1.533s16
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:34.259+1.732s24
1277Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:34.264+1.737s27
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:34.420+1.893s27
1422Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:34.540+2.013s24
1518Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:34.595+2.068s26
1623Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:34.653+2.126s23
1724Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:34.654+2.127s26
1831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:34.660+2.133s26
1947Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:35.195+2.668s22
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:35.412+2.885s26